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Painkillers Inhibit Bone Healing

Painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) continue to be prescribed for patients with healing fractures even though these drugs diminish bone formation, healing, and remodeling. A new review of these drugs has further confirmed this finding. COX-2 inhibitors, a type of NSAID, may also have a negative effect on ligament healing. Two years ago I also posted a study showing that two painkillers, Vioxx and Celebrex, could impair bone healing. So if you have a fractured bone, you may want to think twice before taking an NSAID for the pain. Not only could the bone not heal properly, but also NSAIDs greatly increase the risk of congestive heart failure. NSAIDs include prescription medications like Celebrex as well as over-the-counter drugs like aspirin, Advil and Motrin-type drugs.

Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons May-June 2004;12(3):139-43

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